Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Monday and SEC Country takes a deeper dive on the quarterback position as the main targets start to take shape.
A.J. Curry prepares for return visit to Auburn
MOUNT AIRY, Ga. — In one visit to A.J. Curry’s school, it’s easy to understand why an SEC program like Auburn would show serious interest in a quarterback with such little game film.
Curry grew up playing quarterback, but he made a high school shift to wide receiver. After transferring to Habersham Central (Ga.), he made the switch back to his natural position of quarterback, which has caught the attention of smaller programs — Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic, South Alabama, Eastern Kentucky and Liberty have offered — with bigger programs like Auburn and Mississippi State showing serious interest.
He carries himself with a humility college coaches yearn for, and he has a rocket arm. It’s that combination that has Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey interested, Curry says.
“When he texts me, he really liked my film and my ability to step in and produce. When we got in person, he liked how I developed myself as a quarterback and a person and focused on my future, just the way I’ve been humble about things,” Curry said. “They’re still looking to see if they’re going to take two quarterbacks. They said mostly to be patient, so I’ve been patient from then on.”
Curry, somewhat new to the recruiting process, understands the gist.
He knows Auburn already has one quarterback and the Tigers are working to figure out if they want a second one. My sources indicate it’s more likely than not that Auburn takes a second guy. Curry also understands there are highly-rated quarterback prospects who probably appear to be more must-get guys on the surface, which likely will force Curry to be even more patient as Auburn sorts things out.
If the Tigers were to pull the trigger, well, Curry didn’t hesitate with his answer there.
“I’d more than likely commit,” Curry said.
Lindsey still hasn’t gone out to see Curry play in-person. He planned to visit a Habersham Central practice during the bye week, but a minor Curry injury eliminated that possibility. When I was out at Curry’s practice last week, he was back at full strength, leading team practices and whipping the football all over the field.
Unfortunately for Curry, his high school team didn’t make the state playoffs, so Lindsey won’t have many — if any — opportunities to see Curry play first-hand. He’ll have to rely on Curry’s film, which is quite impressive. In his first nine games, Curry completed 141 of 277 passes (51 percent) for 2,294 yards (255 per game) and 15 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. He added 144 carries for 796 yards and 12 rushing scores.
That level of production made it easy for Lindsey to show interest in a prospect that only Mississippi State quarterbacks coach Brett Elliott had communicated with regularly, at least among Power 5 coaches.
“I hear from Chip every week. Whether it’s a good luck on the game this week or just a head’s up of what’s going on,” Curry said. “They’re willing to take two quarterbacks. They’re willing to bring him in and see what he’s able to do in any type of way with the team, someone who can come in and train and learn and get better.”
Curry isn’t in a rush to make a decision, but he’d like to know the 411 on Auburn’s quarterback situation as soon as possible so he can start to narrow in on his legitimate college options.
He plans to visit Mississippi State for the Egg Bowl on Nov. 23. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him back in Auburn for the Iron Bowl two days after that. Originally, Curry planned to take an official visit to Western Carolina this weekend, but there has been a change in plans.
Curry will make his second visit to Auburn this weekend for the Georgia game, he told SEC Country on Sunday night.
“Just the people and the atmosphere. The coaching staff is really, really great. They blew my mind at how they just came up and expressed how they felt for me and my family,” Curry said of his first visit. “Just the atmosphere around, the way the players felt and the passion they brought to the field, it was just great.”
This one still has a long way to go. Auburn wants to get to know Curry more, certainly, but the Tigers are also in the game for some highly-ranked prospects. I had one source tell me they gave it about a 50-50 shot Auburn ends up offering Curry. Another source felt the chances of Curry picking up an offer were slightly less than that, but it’s all dependent on Lindsey getting as much access to Curry as possible in the next few weeks. Starting off with a visit to the Plains this weekend will be key for Curry’s potential Auburn future.
Subjectively inputing my own opinion into this one, I think Curry is a special kind of guy. He isn’t as new to the quarterback position as some have led on. He started as a quarterback before switching to wide receiver to fit his previous high school’s need. Now he’s back at quarterback, and you can tell just by being around him at a practice that it’s a natural fit. Other players gravitate toward him. He’s got an innate quarterback IQ for someone who hasn’t always been at the position.
There are other big fish out there that Auburn has to do its due diligence with, but Curry deserves a shot at a big-time program, and I firmly believe that.
Here’s a big name on Auburn’s radar who plans to visit
If Auburn went in a direction other than Curry, it would only happen because a highly-ranked quarterback entered the mix.
Here are the five most-likely names of guys who could fit that description.
- 4-star Emory Jones (Ohio State commit)
- 4-star Jarren Williams (Kentucky commit)
- 4-star Gerry Bohanon
- 4-star Brevin White (Princeton commit)
- 3-star James Foster
The day Auburn offered Justin Fields — and decided it was time to take a second quarterback — I asked a reliable source what the plan would be if Fields were to go elsewhere. The two immediate names that surfaced were Jones and Williams.
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out with Jones, who seems poised to de-commit from Ohio State after several visits to Alabama. Jones has visited Auburn several times in the past, including when he was committed to the Buckeyes, so keep an eye out for Jones’ plans the next few weeks.
As for Williams, it appears Auburn is picking up some traction, though the Tigers aren’t alone. Williams, maybe more than anyone, had his stock rise throughout the summer. (Side note: He was the most productive 7v7 quarterback I watched in person all summer). It got to the point in the spring when Williams elected to de-commit from Kentucky before re-committing despite pushes from LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and others.
He picked up an Ohio State offer last week, which was another sign of Williams perhaps looking elsewhere.
What’s interesting is Auburn hasn’t offered Williams yet, as far as I know. Look for that to change soon, perhaps as early as this week.
I’ve been told Williams is very high on Auburn and Lindsey. Despite no offer, the two have been in regular contact, and the Tigers are working to bring Williams on a visit. They wanted to host him for the Georgia game this weekend, but because Miami is also recruiting him — and it’s the Hurricanes’ last home game of the season — Williams is likely going there Saturday instead.
With that said, I’ve been give reason to believe Williams still hopes to make a mid-week visit to Auburn sometime this week. It’d shock me if he made that visit without promises of an offer. There is still a long way to go here. Everyone is going to be chasing Williams down the stretch, but it appears Auburn is in a great spot despite not offering — yet.
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